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Hank Hohenstein: Words for a New Day in Kyrgyzstan

Words for a New Day in Kyrgyzstan

How do we arrive at a workable government whose purpose is to serve the people who have no greater desire than to be able to arise each day with an opportunity to care for self, family and community in safety? Yet man qua man is conflicted.

Reinhold Niebur suggested that it is, "man’s capacity for justice that makes democracy possible.” And it is, "man’s inclination to injustice that makes democracy necessary.”

John Adams, a framer of the American Constitution said, " Self-interest, private avidity, ambition and avarice will exist in every state of society and under every form of government.” We are helpless to totally eliminate those characteristics of man from any society. Thus as we form an organization to provide leadership for our beloved country we must find a way to control man’s selfishness.

The only method of which I am aware is to use the selfishness of one group to offset the selfishness of another group. The soviets had an idea this was necessary and the mixing of ethnic groups was forced on the people. Recently we have seen the devastating impact of that decision. We will long debate whether ethnic conflict was at the base of the recent violence in the southern portion of Kyrgyzstan. It is clear ethnic tensions were successfully exploited by special interests seeking private gain.

In forming a government there are two principles that must be advocated: the ‘separation of powers’ and the ‘rule of law.’ If we are unable to perfect man we must perfect the arena in which man labors. We must divide power so that no group whether it is minority or majority will gain sufficient power to tyrannize the remainder. ‘Separation of powers’ applies checks and balances in an attempt to create a division of power. These divisions may occur geographically, within branches of government and/or levels of government. We all must strive to diffuse power.

In reality government exists for only one reason – to promote justice. Through the promotion of justice John Adams would say, "We are compelled to respect the common right, the public good, the universal law and have respect for private considerations.”

Are we guilty naivety if we think we are to totally overcome the base nature of man? However, if we fail to recognize the capacity of man to rise to a level of goodness toward his family and community then we have lost all credibility in our ability to form a government created to serve all the people.

Where do we begin? Initially it is necessary to change the mind set to be able to accept that those who serve in government recognize they are there only for the people whom they serve. To hold the obverse is to hold a false premise. Next we must bring the ‘rule of law’ to bear on all those guilty of corruption. The message must be delivered that service at any level of government will not be an open invitation to extort funds for service over and above the amount proscribed by law. Nor can the people tolerate the condition where public funds are diverted from their public purpose(s) to private accounts. The public treasury is not to be seen as a private ‘mattress’ into which public officials stuff public money until they are deposed.

What overarches all of these considerations? It is to be recognized that all governments are a gift from God and in that process God wants something in return. God asks all governments and all people to act with mercy and justice. In the Old Testament God gave Adam the gift of free will before God created Eve. The gift of free will is a powerful gift providing man with the ability to make choices. Without free will love of God is meaningless. That means man is to be free from the coercion of any injustice. It also means that God wants man qua man to have a choice in all we do including forming government. God’s gift of choice transcends all else to reside within our everyday lives and since it is God’s gift then government is to be only minimally intrusive in our lives. Government should interfere in the choices we have only to the extent that we create and maintain a merciful and just society.

What else does God expect from man? We are taught that we are to know, to love and to serve God. That is simple to say, but difficult to execute because of the nature of choice and free will. Thus, our eternal conflict was actually given to us by God, but He shows us the face of goodness and He shows us the way. Are we up to the challenge? What we are being challenged to do is to develop the capacity to be good stewards of gifts from God. Will we be seen as the good stewards of the land and government created by God and will we be seen as persons who know, love, and serve our fellow man? The absolute truth is when we know, love and serve our fellow man we begin in that process to know, love and serve God.

Those are God’s gifts to us and He shows no favorites.

To Be Continued …

Hank Hohenstein

02/07/10

SOC New Day for KG

Category: Articles | Added by: Almaz (08/Jul/2010) | Author: Hank Hohenstein W
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